The 2019 version of the Ellsworth Bearcats look to rebound from a two win season last fall.
But a closer look at the Bearcats’ 2018 campaign shows what could have been instead of a 2-7 season. Ellsworth, with just four seniors and many new faces in new places, lost three games to Russell, Sacred Heart and Minneapolis by a combined 14 points.
It’s those close losses that third year head coach, Josh Homolka, hopes his Ellsworth team can take as a lesson and continue to build confidence.
Ellsworth returns a lot of experience in 2019. Gone are the four seniors from last year. However, the Bearcats had nine junior starters one year ago, all of whom return.
Of the top returners for Ellsworth includes the likes of quarterback, Morgan Kelly. Kelly started every game for the ‘Cats under center in 2018 and looks to not only bring experience but leadership as well.
Some other key returners for Ellsworth are Clayton Vague–who makes the move from lineman to running back; lineman, Tyler Walford–a well known wrestler in class 3-2-1A; and Kash Travnichek at running back. Each key returner also made contributions on defense a year ago and looks to do the same in 2019.
Junior linebacker, Avery Haxton also returns to the Bearcat defensive unit. He was one of the team leaders in tackles last fall.
How Ellsworth does in 2019 falls in large part in how the Bearcats can navigate a difficult schedule and the particularly brutal 2A District-8. The district includes defending state-champ, Phillipsburg, as well as highly ranked class 2A foe, Hoisington.
Ellsworth officially opens 2019 in a North Central Activities Association rivalry against Russell on Sept. 6. The Bearcats and Broncos have split each of their last four games, two of which were closely contested games. Ellsworth will also be participating in the Concordia Jamboree this year as a scrimmage on Aug. 31.
Listen below as Rocking M Media talks with Coach Homolka. He will join Sportsradio 1150 KSAL on “In The Zone” each Thursday at 5:30 p.m. this season. The segment is presented by State Farm Insurance Agent-Anthony Hopkins.
2019 Ellsworth Bearcats’ Schedule: (All kickoff times are 7 p.m.)
Aug. 31–Scrimmage: @ Concordia Jamboree (Beloit, Chapman, Concordia, Ellsworth)
Sept. 13–@ Republic County
Sept. 20–Sacred Heart
Sept. 27–@ Minneapolis*
Oct. 11–@ Phillipsburg*
Oct. 25–@ Hays-Thomas Moore Prep*
Nov. 1–TBD (Class 2A Bracket Game)**
*-2A District-8 Game
**-Postseason vs 2A District-7